So sorry it’s been such a long time since my last message. Much of my August was devoted to recovering from some minor but much needed knee surgery – all those years of jogging and fast walking finally caught up with me! I’m feeling much better and have already resumed my regular walking/running activities.
I was back on my feet in time to make my usual trek to the Toronto International Film Festival right after Labor Day. With the exception of the years 1983 and ’84 – when I went to the New York Film Festival – I have attended the Toronto Fest each and every year since 1982. What an incredible thing to witness how it has grown into one of the top 2 of 3 festivals in the world, with seemingly every significant independent and studio release getting screened over its 10-day duration.
Music-oriented films were certainly in evidence in Toronto this year, starting with the North American premiere of the Bob Dylan biopic (of sorts) I’m Not There, directed by Todd Haynes and starring 6 actors portraying a musician obviously based on but never called Bob Dylan. Cate Blanchett is particularly spectacular as Dylan in his frizzy-haired, Blonde On Blonde period. Overall the film is quite experimental and technically spectacular, but not terribly involving emotionally. But it’s still a must-see with its stellar soundtrack and audacious approach.
So who would’ve thought even one, much less two films about the great post-punk band Joy Division would ever be made? Amazingly, that’s what I witnessed this year in Toronto with Anton Corbijn’s biopic Control and Grant Gee’s documentary Joy Division. Both were simply stunning, with Control’s lead actor Sam Riley perfectly capturing the moody, tortured genius of JD’s vocalist Ian Curtis. A natural double-bill, I sure hope these two come to the area very soon.
Fave film at Toronto this year? The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, directed by Julian Schanbel, and based on the best-selling book by the late Jean-Dominique Bauby. Utterly gripping, visually sumptious and sure to overwhelm your emotions, this a magical work of art for the ages.
OK, so back to work after Toronto and back to Borders a few weeks ago for another magical experience – a live, solo set of songs from (Leslie) Feist, Candadian singer-songwriter extraordinaire. 400+ people packed into the downtown A2 Borders on Liberty – on a football Saturday, no less – and cheeed Feist on as she enthralled us all.
I’ll be at the new Borders in Canton – 43425 Ford Road, near Ikea – to emcee a free performance by R&B vocalist Ryan Shaw on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 pm. Ryan will sign copies of his debut CD ‘This is Ryan Shaw’ immediately after his set.
I’ll be taking the Martin Bandyke Program on the road every Friday from Sept. 28 through Dec. 14 as I’ll be broadcasting live from various Espresso Royale coffee shops in Ann Arbor. I’ll be giving away CDs, concert tickets and limited edition MB coffee mugs, plus there will be coffee drink specials. Here are the dates and Expresso Royale locations I’ll be at over the next month – please stop on by and see me!
9/28: 214 SOUTH MAIN STREET
10/5: 324 SOUTH MAIN STREET
10/12: 2603 PLYMOUTH ROAD
10/19: 2264 SOUTH MAIN STREET
10/26: 2871 CARPENTER ROAD
Concert-wise, there are a ton of major shows, including Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello at EMU’s Convocation Center on 10/12, Spoon at the Majestic on 10/13, Wilco at the Fox on 10/17 and Annie Lennox at the Music Hall on 10/22, and that’s just for starters. Gonna need a lot of coffee to keep up the pace!